Friday, June 09, 2006

Al-Zarqawi Taken Out! The Side Not Heard

I know, I’m slow today, I guess I’m the last person who will wind up posting on the military strike that killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.  And originally, I was thinking I wouldn’t post on it at all, that everything that should be written would be written, and that there was no need to add an additional post to the nearly 8 Million posts on the killing.

But when reviewing a ton of these posts, I noticed that no one was examining how the Muslim world saw al-Zarqawi. For such an opinion, I turned to Al Jazeera, who printed an obituary for the terrorist leader.

The obituary was more accurate than you might think, describing al-Zarqawi’s rise from a small-time Jordanian criminal to a low-level radical Islamist, from his 1999 exile to Afghanistan where he linked with Osama bin Laden to his position as the leader or Islamist Tawhid and Jihad group in 2003, and finally to changing that group to a sect of al-Qaeda in 2004, operating out of Iraq.

The obituary does not make a martyr of al-Zarqawi, and saddles him with the responsibility for beheading two American hostages in 2004, the Hila bombing in 2005, and the 2005 bombing of a Jordanian Hotel.  They site the bounty on his head, and his knack for the headline-grabbing attack, but there is no mention of virgins or revenge.

But the obituary also says that they believe al-Zarqawi’s role was exaggerated by the Western media and leadership.

But analysts believe that despite being a prominent figure in the Iraqi uprising, his influence was often exaggerated by the media.

His organisation was believed to be only 3,000 strong at most and US army officials admitted raising al-Zarqawi's profile by blaming attacks on his group, the Washington Post reported in April.

The one point not covered by the article is the revolutionary way al-Zarqawi utilized the Internet as a weapon of terror.  Al-Zarqawi was able to create disinformation, recruit new martyrs and soldiers, even coordinate attacks and provide support all through the net.  Let’s face it, if the Bush administration is destroying our right to privacy with regards to internet communication, it’s at least partially because al-Zarqawi forced his had.

To me, whether or not al-Zarqawi’s role or importance is exaggerated, the world is a safer place without him in it. This does not provide justification for the war in Iraq, as al-Zarqawi only rose to prominence as a result of the Iraqi conflict.  But al-Zarqawi was both evil and highly intelligent, a dangerous combination, and the Bush administration should be proud to have eliminated him.  It’s a valuable accomplishment.

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Posted by Scottage at 3:38 AM / | |